Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wendy Alton chosen for the "Alumni Spotlight" for the University of Michigan-Dearborn

I was pleased and honored to be chosen for the "Alumni Spotlight" for the College of Arts, Sciences & Letters of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. I owe much of my success to the opportunities given me by that wonderful university and the incredible professors. Thank you!!

Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Just who is a typical CASL graduate? The simple answer is that there is no such person. CASL alumni have a diverse range of skills, talents, experiences, and goals. By “spotlighting” someone each month, we hope to introduce you to our diverse group of alums ... and maybe you'll see a familiar face.

Name: Wendy S. Alton (formerly Wendy Sluka)

Degree, discipline, graduation year: Bachelor of Arts, English, 1998. Minors in History & Physics.

What are your current job responsibilities and/or volunteer activities? Attorney and owner of the Alton Law Firm PLC in Livonia. I handle primarily family law cases (divorce, custody, child support) but also probate matters (probate estates, guardianships, conservatorships), estate planning (wills, trusts & powers of attorney), small business matters, and general lawsuits and trials.

I do some pro-bono (free of charge) legal work and consider that to be my primary volunteer activity. I also serve on the CASL Alumni Affiliate Board of Governors

Does your career relate to what you studied at UM-Dearborn or is your degree in a totally different field? Many law students come from an English background, but not all. The reading, research and writing skills that you develop as an English major are incredibly valuable when you are a law student—and also when you practice law as an attorney. The discipline I developed as an English major really helps me as a lawyer—because so much of my work is consumed with research and writing.

Looking back at the classes you took, pick out one of your favorites and tell why. This is a difficult question!! I had so many favorites!! I don’t think I can pick one, but I can pick a few.

  • I really enjoyed my independent study with Professor Jonathan Smith—I wrote a paper and presented on the intersection of science and literature in Tom Stoppard’s Arcardia. I presented my research at the “Meeting of Minds” in 1998, and was subsequently invited to present the talk again at Oakland University for their “Science and Religion” lecture series.
  • I loved “The American Revolution” and the “Salem Witchcraft Trials” by Gerry Moran.
  • I loved “Language Myth & Dreams” and the “History of Consciousness” by Sid Bolkosky.
  • I loved the Modern & Contemporary Literature classes by Sheryl Pearson.
  • And I loved every single Physics class taught by Jeffrey Prentis.
  • I know I am forgetting some—but those stand out in my mind. (11 years later!)

If there was a “favorite” professor, let us know and why. I don’t want to get into trouble here!! There were many influential professors for me—and I can say without missing a beat that I will always be grateful to Professor Sid Bolkosky, Professor Gerry Moran, and Professor Jonathan Smith. They went above and beyond in challenging me to be a better thinker, a better writer, a better researcher, better student and better person altogether. I am very, very grateful.


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